KARACHI: The opposition Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf in Sindh on Wednesday questioned the provincial budget spending alleging that the Pakistan Peoples Party-led provincial government was hiding facts from the people and their representatives as it failed to come up with the report of the first quarter of the current financial year, raising doubts about transparency and the progress of development projects.
Leader of the Opposition in the Sindh Assembly Firdous Shamim Naqvi of the PTI along with his colleagues came up with a list of questions demanding quarterly report of the Sindh Budget 2020-21, which was supposed to be submitted by the government after the end of September.
“Despite passing three months, the Sindh government has not yet submitted its quarterly budget report,” he said while addressing a press conference. “The Sindh government has so far not provided any information on how much money was spent on which project. The first quarter was completed in September and we are almost in the middle of November but so far no report of the first quarter has come. This is beyond anyone’s understanding.”
He said that the lawmakers were answerable to people about the budget spending, but they were themselves in the dark as to how much money was allocated and spent on uplift projects.
“It’s a source of concern that the Sindh government has not presented the ... quarterly budget report in the assembly last year. First, the Sindh government refused to share the findings of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and now it is not even submitting the budget progress report. The PPP is ruling this province for the past more than 12 years yet it has not been able to fix the system,” said Mr Naqvi.
He said that the reports and findings of the PAC showed as to how the “champions of democracy” had exploited the system and violated every democratic norm for vested interests.
‘Double standards of PPP’
The PPP, he said, demanded reports of PAC in the National Assembly and Punjab Assembly but the same right was denied to legislators in the province it ruled proving its “double standards”.
To a question about the progress of the Rs1.1 trillion Karachi Transformation Plan announced by Prime Minister Imran Khan in September amid much media fanfare after heavy rains in the city, he said the package of the federal government would soon give the desired results.
“Federal Minister Asad Umar is keenly looking after the package and reporting to the PM the progress,” he responded. “There are several things which have started coming up. For instance K-IV project has been given to Wapda. The railway ministry is taking care of Karachi Circular Railway and the NDMA [National Disaster Management Authority] is already assigned for garbage collection and cleanliness of drains. The Sindh government has been tasked with building infrastructure that includes overhead bridges.”
Published in Dawn, November 12th, 2020